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IMW webinar series: Female hands in Bulgarian wine



Bulgaria today is an incredibly dynamic place and perhaps surprisingly, it may have the highest proportion of female winemakers of any country in the world. Almost half of the country’s wineries have women winemakers and there are a number of significant women owners too who shape the direction of their wineries.

This talk will take a look at where Bulgarian wine is today as few people outside its borders know how different this modern era of Bulgarian wine is. Indeed, it is actually quite hard to track down straight Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon unless you’re looking at bottom-shelf supermarket wines. The aim will be to share some facts and figures about Bulgaria today, discuss developments and trends, and the challenges that still lie ahead. The core of the talk will explore why Bulgaria has so many female hands in the industry, and what lessons there might be for other countries too.

Caroline Gilby MW will moderate the session and be joined by Militza Zikatanova, Tanya Avramova and Katia Iontcheva.

Militza Zikatanova is part of the family that owns Villa Melnik. She previously worked in marketing for Diageo in the UK before deciding to switch her efforts to the family winery and the Melnik region where she has helped set up shared initiatives like a wine route and plans for a new PDO.

Tanya Avramova looks after marketing for her family winery of Bratanov (founded by her husband, brother and father-in-law) alongside winemaker Maria Stoeva. She is also a leading light in developing regional marketing for South Sakar.

Katia Iontcheva founded a wine-importing business in Bulgaria in 2003, particularly working with South African wines.  She and her partner also founded the KA&TA Bulgarian wine catalogue in 2013, an annual bilingual guide to the whole wine industry and its best wines. She is also a first year MW student.

Caroline is the author of the award-wining book The wines of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova published in 2018 and has been fascinated by Bulgarian wine for more than 30 years, first as a student drinker then as a buyer for Augustus Barnet and more recently as a writer.

Image source: Villa Melnik

About the IMW webinar series
Webinars are open to anyone who wishes to attend. Registrations are capped and will close when fully booked. All guests are welcome to submit questions in advance or during the webinar. The IMW uses the Zoom webinar platform, instructions on how to join will be emailed to you. Please check your junk or spam folder if you do not receive an email confirmation when registering. Unless specified otherwise, webinars are recorded and will be made available online here a few days after the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Belinda Eaton at